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How Can We Better Meet the Needs of Our LGBTQ+ Students?

Is it OK to use the word "queer"? What does it mean to be transgender?

These are just a couple of the questions to be addressed in the Aug. 4 workshop "Supporting and Empowering LGBTQ+ Students." The Zoom meeting starts at noon and lasts until 2 p.m. (RSVP link).

It's important that faculty understand the needs of these Old Dominion University students, said Cathleen Rhodes, a senior lecturer in the Department of Women's Studies who will lead the session.

"Due to the many ways that LGBTQ+ students experience discrimination, even violence, based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, they are more likely than their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts to experience homelessness, to seriously consider suicide, and to experience mental health challenges," she said.

With the workshop, Rhodes wants to help faculty learn to navigate differences related to sexuality and gender identity.

Topics will include:

  • Terminology
  • Pronouns
  • Names
  • Resources for LGBTQ+ students
  • Challenges and opportunities of working with LGBTQ+ students

The session is being presented by the Office of Faculty Diversity and Retention; Gay Cultural Studies; and the Center for Faculty Development.

Rhodes is eager to begin the conversation.

"I want us all to work to better meet the needs of LGBTQ+ students, to create environments where all students feel acknowledged and valued and where they can do the hard work of academic study with less time doing the hard work of navigating unintentional but harmful bias."

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